When the Pittsburgh Steelers play a team like the Las Vegas Raiders, an AFC rival, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the matchup.
Sure, fans know the big name players from their conference foe, but a lot can change from one year to the next.
With that said, I reached out to Silver and Black Pride’s contributor Matt Holder and asked him a series of questions about the upcoming game. He was more than generous to provide answers to these questions, and in this article I asked him what the Raiders’ plan to counter the Steelers defense in Week 2 will be.
How will Derek Carr and company try to move the ball against the stout Steelers defense?
Check out his answer below, and be sure to follow Silver and Black Pride for the latest news and notes from the other side of the fence leading up to the game at 1 p.m. ET.
When the Raiders have the ball, how will they try to move the ball?
“Given the Raiders’ offensive line issues and the Steelers’ pass rush, I expect to see a lot of quick passing game and probably out of a more spread/shotgun look and a good amount of RPOs. In the running game, I expect them to try and attack the edges and use more wide receiver and bubble screens as an extension of the rushing attack. Basically, try and stretch the Steelers’ defense out and play basketball on grass.
It would make no sense, or would be a pretty dumb game plan, to try and run right at Cameron Heyward, Tyson Alualu and Chris Wormley with backup guards and a center that has less than five starts to his name. It’s the same logic for trying to drop back and throw deep. You’ve got a rookie right tackle going against the highest-paid defender in the league, so unless there’s max protection and a lot of help for Leatherwood, expect Jon Gruden to try and dink-and-dunk his way down the field.
However, I am excited to see how Miller holds up against Highsmith and Ingram since Miller has grown a lot since his rookie season and is on the rise. I think this matchup will be a good barometer for him.”
This truly will be one of the biggest keys to victory for both teams. If the Steelers can harass Derek Carr like they did Josh Allen in Week 1, there is a good chance the Steelers start the season 2-0. However, if the Raiders are able to protect Carr, and give him time to deliver the ball to targets like Darren Waller, anything is possible.
How do you see this game shaking out? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the upcoming Week 2 game.